ESMA DECISION of 16 September 2020 renewing the temporary requirement to natural or legal persons who have net short positions to lower the notification thresholds of net short positions in relation to the issued share capital of companies whose shares are admitted to trading on a regulated market to notify the competent authorities above a certain threshold in accordance with point (a) of Article 28(1) of Regulation (EU) No 236/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council.
Any sudden increase in selling pressure and market volatility due to short selling and building up of short positions can amplify downward trends in financial markets. While short selling at other times may serve positive functions in terms of determining the correct valuation of issuers, in current market circumstances it may pose an additional threat to the orderly functioning and integrity of markets.
In terms of duration of the measure, ESMA considers that a renewal of the measure for three months is justified considering the information available at this point in time and the remaining overall uncertain outlook in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. ESMA intends to revert to the regular reporting obligation as soon as the situation improves, but at the same time cannot discard the possibility of extending the measure should the situation worsen or should markets remain in a fragile state.